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21 May 2006

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Patrick Henry

Excellent Post Col..

Tango Yankee...

jonst

Pl,

I'm not going to do all the hunting and citing that I should be doing to back up my asserations here. But all of the items on your list, at the bottom of the page and prefaced by the phrase ":"look what Hayden said" were known, indeed, one might argue widely known by 2003. These facts were studiously and steadfastly avoid by the MSM and by Congressional leaders, in both parties. The American people resolutely refuse to hear, never mind believe, this stuff when it was raised in 2003. And a great many still refuse to hear, again, never mind believe, further evidence of what happened and how we got into Iraq.

As to Waterboard Mike...he can go to hell. The Republic does not need more people like him, however slick and bright he may be. He is one more apparatchnik who senses the tide is turning in the latest round of bureaucratic infighting. That is a harsh judgment on my part. And who the hell am I to make it one can rightly argue. But it is a judgment I stand by. I watched the hearing. It’s my job as a lawyer to listen closely to Q&A sessions. And I do my job very well. I know this guy is hiding something and I don't mean classified stuff. He is covering Bush's ass, Bush's vulnerable legal ass, in the tried and true tradition of the intel community: inoculate yourself against the coming shitstorm by partial disclosure of what’s out there anyway, or of what will so be out there. Its called making a virture out of what will soon be seen to have been a necessity.

W. Patrick Lang

jonst

You don't get it. Someone is going to run the intelligence community. There is going to be an intelligence community. it doesn't matter what ordinary folks like you or me knew or when. This is an insider who has broken with the the BS. He is going to be head of CIA. pl

W. Patrick Lang

all

And furthermore, whoever runs CIA will have to be an intelligence professional. Matters of re-organization and re-building stand at a crossraods throughout the IC and nowhere more than at CIA. This is not a time when the Agency can coast for a year as it could when the amateur director, GHW 41 was there. If you have to have a professional and an experienced one, then you will have to suffer along with a sinner, hopefully, a regretful sinner. pl

Patrick Henry

Colonial Lang..

No matter Gen. Haydens Qualifications..it seems to me he is Basically an ET Guy who is willing to go along with the Administrations attitude of pushing the limits of Government and the Constitution and THEN challenging everyone to Prove them wrong..

These guys are all Administration appointed Insiders...rather they disagree with Rumsfelds Operation and Group or not..

I think that none of these people are "Trusted" or have the Full Confidence of alot of Congressional members or the American People..

Instead of a" ET" Spook running CIA..I would rather have a guy in there who Has a THINKING BRAIN...Between His EYES and EARS..LIKE YOU..

An Experienced Guy like You...Combat Vet..Ground Pounder..Knows and understands Military operations From experience..

Knows how the System Works..Knows What TEAM WORK is..

Knows all the Good..bad..and Ugly aspects of the Chain of Command and the Political system..

Knows the INTEL Business like you does..

Has a Connection to and understands the NSA..with the Question mark Perception of POLITICAL LOYALTYS..or Has already Acted in a Way that indicates the MILITARY Thinks it should be in Control of the Government and its Operations..

CIA should be run by a Well Qualified Guy whose Primary expertise is the Middle East..and that Region of the World..and

There have been several Recent Commentarys to that effect in the Media Lately..

my point is...There may be challenges to Gen. Haydens Appointment..We will see..

I agree that CIA needs the BEST Director Possible NOW..
But SLAM DUNKING Gen. Hayden as a Quick FIX solution is Very Questionable in my Mind..

It will NOT resore Confidence to Millions of People who already dont like or TRUST this Administration..

YOU..Col..LANG...are the Only Man I Know right now...who has all the "IGHT STUFF.".and Meets ALL Qualifications ..as a Military trained Combat Officer..as an intel Guy..As a Middle east Expert...as a Linquist..and a Man who Knows HISTORY..You Have the EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE..

As a Man who will do whats BEST..for the Agency and the NATION..

My question is..If given the Opportunity...would you take the JOB.as DCI..??

Congress should have some GOOD alternatives..

For the GOOD of the NATION..

jonst

Please, with all due respect, and I have enormous respect for you, and your work, I DO 'get it'. I simply disagree with you. Your statement "And furthermore, whoever runs CIA will have to be an intelligence professional" means we are doomed. Not that I expect anything different. It matters little what I want...as it matters little what the American people may, or may not want. The criminal enterprise that runs the govt now will put who they want in. And who they want, is by definition someone I personally think should not be in said office. In my dreams I would like "intel professionals' to WORK in the CIA, or DIA. I would suggest they not be allowed to HEAD up the agency. For now. I prefer, in this case, honesty, decency management skills, over experience. It is not that we could not find experienced intel people who posses these qualities. I suspect the majority of intel pros have these qualities in abundance. But I still would put my money on a total outsider. I think a new mindset at the head is long overdue. And I see little in the intel products of the past that makes me think we will be losing much

Patrick Henry

My Previous comments shoudl have READ..

"ITHOUT.. the Question Mark Perception of Political Loyaltys.."

In my opinion..Gen. Hayden still Leaves the Impression of Being an "Insider"..either Pentagon or Administration..

I don't care how Smart He is..He has already made His Position Clear on the Constitution..and NO
LIMITS.....
of POWER and AUTHORITY..

Just Excuses for MORE Power..

and MORE Authority..

For the Good of the SHEEPLE..

At Least...Thats what we will Keep Telling them..

RIGHT..??

W. Patrick Lang

jonst

I knew I would regret saying that.. Sorry. you get it.

Unfortunately for your point about gifted amateurs, they are hard to find. Too often what you get instead are politically committed academic ditherers.

In addition, any CIA director will be appointed by the president and will serve at his/her pleasure. pl

W. Patrick Lang

PH

Sure. Sign me up. Seriously I would do whatever was necessary. Thanks for the compliment. pl

ikonoklast

Maybe the next time they trundle out the tub of Kool-ade Hayden will just say no, but you can never really trust an addict. His stance on the domestic electronic surveillance is understandable - as the scope of the thing is being revealed it's patently obvious that you can't get a warrant on a sizeable percentage of the American populace, even if you have three or four extra days to see a judge. So his choice of national security and duty over questionable legality is forgiveable. Or was, in the days following 9-11. He's still sticking to his guns, though, even as the whole scheme has proved fruitless. No Osama yet, but who knows, he might just have to use a pay phone to order a pizza stateside one of these days and the trap will snap shut.
However, admitting the truth about past events while following leading questions in a Senate hearing room is a long way from standing up and shouting "stop" when the light's about to turn green. Was Hayden in the group of generals who were doing everything but standing on the roof of the Pentagon waving semaphore flags in the days before the Iraq invasion, trying to signal to the zombie press that there were some genuine problems with the plan?
In any event it's probably a done deal and he's going to CIA. And of course it would have to be a professional in that position, no question. But why not bring someone out of retirement to do the job? Someone with the credentials of yourself, Colonel, a pro whose main objective is getting the job done and fixing the mess. Someone who doesn't have anything to lose. One of the reasons we've gotten to this point - not solely in the intelligence community, but in the country overall - is because to the people chosen for positions of responsibility, accomplishing their tasks has been secondary to career protection and licking the spittle off the boots of their political masters.
It's a naive thought, of course. In this particular reality, if it weren't Hayden it would be some other drone who could keep the image going in the face of failure.
Who takes over at NSA, by the way?

jonst

No problems, PL, no problems. I know what you meant. Just reacting myself to all the anger and frustration I am feeling. Many of us are feeling, including you I suspect. For the country, this stuff is terrible. With worse to come. For me personally, this debacle is kicking up stuff from long ago.

I thank you so very much for this forum. Just want that to be crystal clear about that. You are doing your country another service PL. Even if at times we disagree on tactics!

john pfeifler

I don't know General Hayden personally. However, his reputation within the intelligence community tends to the positive. He pulled the NSA kicking and screaming out of its Cold War mentality. Now that President Bush has eviscerated the CIA it may be time to put someone in charge with proven ability.

General Hayden's complicity in the NSA domestic spying matter certainly raises questions about his suitability as head of the CIA. But, his confirmation hearing is also providing a long overdue look into the NSA program. This look would not be necessary if the Congress had performed any oversight. A smart Captain told me years ago that "doers do what checkers check." Congress has been AWOL for the past five years. Not offered as an excuse, just spreading the blame around all the guilty parties.

I am looking forward to the day when a responsible Congress tackles the Bush years. It should prove quite entertaining and enlightening if we survive the next few years. Meanwhile, the damage Mr. Bush and the Congress have done to the intelligence community requires some fixing even if only short term until a competent government takes over.

Patrick Henry

GOOD EXCHANGE..GENTLEMEN..and

Meeting of the Minds..With Mutual Respect..

my Compliments to you Both..

Col..Tango Yankee ..for your Response to my Quiry..

And I Meant it..

NOW is the time and opportunity to FIX....The Agency..

No matter who opened the Door...With the Attitude of Self assurance that the
Control of the Agencys Administration and Functions would go to Thier Hasnd picked man..

Not so fast.......!!

Mr. Goss was Apparently Taken
by suprise...

He is quoted.. when asked why he was Leaving..as saying it was another "Mystery"..

He was sending a message...and I think trying to give smart people some insight into the "INTRIGUE"..going on around DC..

I understand it was a Power play..People didn't like Goss's Attitude..or Resistence to Policycs and Certain Administrators..

I Understand that someone was complaining to the "Oversight committee' about goss's attitude..and also suggesting the the President..that Goss was a Problem and needed to be replaced..

The Question is WHY..??

And the Suspect Timing..

I understand the Comments by JONST..for also seeing a NEED for GOOD LEADERSHIP at CIA..and wanting a Clear Outsider..

a Honest Man..with integrity..
And MUST Have Clear Administrative...Leadership Abilitys..

But..I Believe He MUST be Experienced..

and can Step Right into the Command Center and UNDERSTAND what is immediately going on...and can RAPIDLY Catch up with the Program..

and the Situation..

YOU QUALIFY Col. Lang..

You ARE Rertired..already..

One up on Gen. Hayden..

YOU are Better qualifed...and Im sure anyone who knows you..or Trys to under4stand you as a Man..KNOWS..

You are the BETTER Man for the Job..

And Congress has the Opportunity to do this One Thing Right..

RIGHT NOW..

There is No requirement to ACCEPT...the Presidents Nominee..Gen Hayden..

Both Republicans and Democrats..have GRAVE Concerns about Affairs of state...and Administrations Policys..

And APPOINTMENTS..

Because there is a Growing awarness of the CONSTITUTION...and RIGHTS TO Privacy..In the Back of Everyones Mind..

EVEN..In the Congress..

so I say...;"Congress...Take your time..Examine the Evidence..and Realize you owe it to the Nation..and the People You Represent..
with the RIGHTS..of those People..In Mind..THEY ARE..

IN OUR CONSTITUTION.."

And Consider that there are other..GOOD..Qualified..LOYAL Candidates for the NEW Job Opening for DCI..

Director..Central Intelligence..

Take your time Congress..

Decide Wisely..

I Nominate..Col. Patrick Land..Retired..as the NEW ..Director of Central Intelligence..

A GOOD..QUALIFIED LOYAL AMERICAN..with a HEART..

A PROVEN LEADER..

Just ask the MEN and WOMEN...who KNOW Him..

jonst

I second the nomination!

Eric

I personally can't get too excited about it. The vets in PA will probably put a good horse down in the next hour or so, and it will probably get more press than the cozy litlle Tete-A-Tete between Levin and Hayden.

And it ###damned well should.

Tom Ricks reported all this Oct. 2002-Mar. 2003.

If Shinseki, Newbold,Jones or any of the other 3-4 stars had thrown the stars on Rummy's desk, retired, and spoken frankly in a timely fashion, this strategic clusterfuck might have been stopped. And let's not forget "good soldier" Colin Powell.

Were they hoping to command a corps or small army in battle as the pinnacle of a "career"-Against a 5 th-rate army I might add?

Who knows, I'm praying for the horse. He had some spirit.

taters

Dear Col. Lang,
I am a constituent of Sen. Levin. I have a file full of letters that he has sent to me in response to the many times I've written him. His responses aren't like many others who often issue a staff written generic/standard constituent letter, there is time and thought put into them by a pretty busy guy. We probably agree 95% of the time. I consider myself very fortunate to be represented by him. His brother, Sandy, is my congressman. They both epitomize to me the finest aspects of public service. Sen Levin has gone on record as stating Gen. Hayden as an excellent choice. The message that I got from Levin was "they finally got one right." Former Sen. Bob Graham believes Hayden is a great choice. Another guy high in my book. From what I understand - and I believe I read that here - Hayden does not fear Rumsfeld. Add the fact that Kappes would return - perhaps some of the others that resigned during the Goss purge. Now obviously I'm a layman in these matters - but if Gen. Hayden gets a thumbs up from you - while you fiercely denounce the main telecom companies doing what they did - makes me pause and think that this is a good choice, by far better than the vast majority of crony hack appointees that this adminstration has made. I can't exactly recall Larry Johnson's take on this but I hardly believe I'm the only one that would love to see the two of you weigh in on this, pro & con.

W. Patrick Lang

Eric

I am with you about the horse, a damned shame.

I also agree with you about the line generals who should have quit in protest.

Hayden's position is a little different. as head of NSA and a career intelligence guy he was not involved in the planning for OIF.

His argument is that once all the lawyers told him the program (however repulsive) was legal and the president then ordered him to carry it out, he had no choice. I find that to be a more impressive argument than I do the pleas of people like Franks who say that Rummy is hard to fend off, but, that is me. pl

Eric

I agree with you Pat; just venting a little out of utter frustration. Hayden was, of couse, not a line
officer.

What impressed me most, I guess, in this sordid affair, was how the military legal wallahs, at the highest levels, expressed their views in writing about the Geneva Conventions, novel methods of interrogation, detention, etc.


Eric

Add one final thing.

The top JAGS probably did not help their careers any by their writings.

Patrick Henry

It is My impression that Hayden is still defending His Actions and Decisions..

even during his Confirmation Hearings..

THAT suggests to me that He is also Defending the Presidents Decisions..and Actions....

Because He uses the Same Arguments to defend them..as the President..who told us there would be no domestic Spying w/o FISA~ Warrants..

REMEMBER..??

Seems like more CYA..and the BOSS'S..

Blame someone else..

And..Stay in the Game..

I am under the Impression the NSA~ DOMESTIC Data Mining was Haydens Idea..

And the Lawyers just gave him the GREEN LIGHT..

Am I led to Believe it was the Presidents Idea..??

And that He ORDERED NSA to go ahead and Spy on American Citizens without WARRANTS or Probable Cause..??

And everyone Mumbled "Damn"..What about the Constitution..and Peoples Rights.."??

BUT..

ORDERS~ARE~ ORDERS..

And Heyden..JUST OBEYED ORDERS..like a good Soldier...

"I WAS JUST OBEYING ORDERS.."

In That Regard..

He is..Apparently..

RELIABLE..

He is..After All.. the Presidents Chosen Man..

Whats NEXT for American Citizens..??

MORE....

NOVEL Methods of Interrogation and Detention..??

ALL Rights Abolished..??

HOW Far will this Administrations Mind Set Go..?? What else will get the OK..

The NOD and WINK..??

We are another Step in that Direction.....

and Its turning into a MINE FIELD..

As far as I'm Concerned..

"Don't TREAD On Me.."

My names NOT...OSAMA..

Norbert Schulz

The fable the CIA wasn't pressured has always felt like nonsense to me, it's pretty much common sense: Repeated specific questioning, after receiving negative answers repeatedly, is in itself suggestive, even if the individual question is not.

I have an apt illustration: My brother lend me a pair of shoes a while ago. I was pretty much sure I returned them, until months later he called me and asked for their whereabouts. He asked so persistently, and annoyed, that I not only searched my entire flat, even though I was sure to have returned them - eventually I started to doubt my memory. My sister joined the fray, siding with my brother. Eventually I took into account the possibility that I did lose them (after all I'm somewhat messy) and I was embarassed and apologetic. It came as a relief when my brother eventually found them in his flat (he's somewhat messy too).

What really struck me was that in the end I ended up appeasing, wrongly, because I started to lose my certainty. My brother wouldn't ask so persistently and specific if he hadn't a point, would he? A peculiar experience.

I find it encouraging that Hayden kept a level head in the run-up to war, and added his disclaimers. He certainly would have got more love from the top if he hadn't. Of course, a cynic might dismiss that as an exercise in CYA. Anyway, I don't want top be cynical, and so it gives me hope that Hayden would do well in resisting the intense buereaucratic pressure oozing out of the Pentagon and Vice president's office, so Levin might well be right when he calls Hayden the right man. Thanks to PL's elaboration I find the fears that 'the military is taking over the CIA' unfounded, too.

FMJ

Hi.

I'm not sure how appropriate it is to plug your own work on someone else's blog, so if I'm out of line here, please remove my link.

I've written quite a lot about the "deductive" reasoning used to conclude that the infamous aluminum tubes were destined for an Iraqi nuclear program. The SSCI and Robb-Silberman reports discuss the Intelligence Community's various assessments of the tubes over 2001-2003, but they mix them all up. I spent a few weeks late last year going through the reports' footnotes and references and putting the assessments in chronological order. What I found was that a "Red Team" wrote the only assessment that said the tubes could be used as centrifuge rotors without significant modification. The Red Team's paper was written a little more than a week before the publication of the October 2002 NIE, in which it formed the basis of the IC's tubes "majority position".

Anyway, if anyone would like to check out my work (a warning: it's long and very technical at times), the link is here:

http://www.eurotrib.com/user/FMJ/diary

jonst

I have no faith, none, in the EFFECTIVNESS of the Levin’s of the world, however wise and well meaning, and perhaps even noble, they may indeed be. The country, I believe, is on a dangerous and self-destructive path to say the least. Nothing good can or will come from this administration. Nothing good has come from the feeble, half-hearted, Democratic opposition. The opposition to what is happening in the country will have to come from the American people, if they really feel something is horribly wrong with the class and type of people running the US right now. The change won’t come from, or be lead by, the Gen Hayden’s of the world. They are too compromised and cautious, by nature, to lead it. At best, AT BEST, we can hope they won’t viscerally oppose change, if and when, the American people demand it.

Norbert Schulz

johnst,
good point. I have argued hard with a friend over that, and my perception is that a Republican war, thanks to the rutheless exploitation of 'national security' by the Republicans, can only be ended by Republicans.
That is underlined by that Bush only really got under fire, when eventually his own party attacked him over the war, after resisting comparable Democratic criticisms for a long time, and easily.

Democrats against the war will unavoidably denounced as 'weak on national security' at least, if not as traitors, by their republican counterparts, or their points are denounced as being partisan when the GOP has a mild day. Thus, Democrats consistently try to out-hawk the Republicans - with the results you described: As an opposition they are ineffective in these critical matters of national security.

Norbert Schulz

It is an example of how the inherent relativism of the bias argument is undermining the health of the state and destroys discourse in the public square: "Of course, he's against my point, he's my political opponent!"

While that is right to a point, it is no substitute for a political discourse. And American can ill afford the lack of that, in fact, it's ailing because of that lack already. It immediately puts the opponent on the defensive, forcing him to justify himself, to bring up evidence why he is not biased. "See? I'm not weak on defense, I even like torture, preventive war and missile defense! Dodge this, conservative opponent! Hah-Hah!" Nothing sensible can come of that.

The result is that facts are left aside, and that decisions are made in the emotional realm. Just watch FOX news - the lone Dems making the 'liberal counterpoints' are laughable. FOX pits the guy with the nice tie and the soft speak (or Anne Coulter), saying dems are traitors for whom hanging is to good, against a 'liberal' freaking out about it, and then takes this provoked anger as a confirmation of their own argument. It's demagoguery, plain and simple.

From my perspective, that's not conservative. It's dishonourable. If the Democrats are ineffective and laughable, the Republicans share blame for not playing fair, and for helping to wreck the political climate, hopefully not beyond repair.

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